Affiliation: Chamber # 3222K Faculty Division III BITS, Pilani, India.
Biofuels have been hailed as the fuels of the future with the potential to completely replace petroleum sourced fuels and also help in combating some of the current environmental issues associated with the intensive use of petroleum based fuels. Biofuels are of two types: primary and secondary. Primary biofuels are derived from sources like firewood, animal wastes, forest and crop residues etc. and are used in their unprocessed forms. Secondary biofuels are obtained by processing biomass and have been classified based on feedstock and processing technologies into first, second, third and fourth generation fuels, with the recently emerged fourth generation fuels having become the highlight of future research in the area. Among the different types of biofuels, biodiesel and bioethanol are now being used as transportation fuels. Biodiesel production is carried out via the transesterification reaction by using suitable catalysts. Lipases (triacyl glycerol hydrolases EC 188.8.131.52) have emerged as robust biocatalysts to accomplish the enzymatic synthesis of biodiesel. This review focuses on the need for biofuels and the most recent research developments in this field and also a brief overview of biodiesel fuel and lipase enzyme has been presented.